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Court hears how Nairobi businessmen faked engineer’s death to grab his Sh200m land

NATIONAL
By Paul Ogemba | November 4th 2021

 

Paul Curzon in the witness dock at a Milimani high court [George Njunge, Standard]

A judge has summoned the Chief Lands Registrar to produce records of land fraudsters who allegedly faked the death of a British engineer and grabbed his Sh200 million property in Nairobi.

But the two Nairobi businessmen accused of faking the death of Pavel Paul Curzon and taking over his property, maintain that he is long dead and that the person in court claiming the property is a ghost.

Justice Samson Okong’o, of the Environment and Lands Court, also summoned the officer commanding Kilimani Police Station to appear in court and disclose the full names and identities of people his officers helped to evict the Briton and his tenants from his land.

“The chief lands registrar must personally attend court on November 8 to produce and show to the court the land records in respect to the complainant’s property situated along Ngong Road,” ruled Okong’o.

Curzon has sued the police and the chief lands registrar for allegedly protecting land grabbers who invaded and took over his property while he was away in London attending to his sick wife.

Curzon has also sued businessmen Martin Muthama and Stephen Kirianki for invading his properties in Kileleshwa and Ngong Road and putting them up for sale.

According to the British expatriate, the alleged land grabbers faked his death and prepared a death certificate which they used to change registration ownership of the property. They then timed when he was away to invade the land and took over possession.

Curzon, in his affidavit and testimony before the court, said he started staying in the properties as a tenant in 1993 when he came to Kenya as an engineer and after 11 years, he reached an agreement with the property owner, Naomi Rebecca Ramtu, and bought the premises in 2004.

“I had stayed peacefully in the property with my family and domestic workers until 2013 when suspicious entry into the house while I was in the UK was discovered. I later discovered that the intruders had stolen my old passport and documents of the property,” said Curzon.

He swore that in June 2016, while he was in the UK, he was notified that Muthama and Kirianki raided his home with the assistance of police officers from Kilimani Police Station and forcefully took possession after chasing away his workers.

According to his affidavit, the invaders claimed that he died in 2006 and that he had sold to them the property in 2005 before his death.

“The people are unknown to me since I have never transferred to them or any other person the property. I believe they used the documents stolen in my house in 2013, forged my signature, and falsified documents to show that I had died to commit the illegal act,” said Curzon.

But in his response to the suit, the businessmen maintained that they bought the property from Curzon in 2005 before his death in 2006 and that the person now claiming to be him is a “ghost”.

“I have reliable information that Paul Curzon died in August 2006 and he does not exist. We have been the legal owners of the property which we leased out to a Mr Ngulua Karai, but he could not pay the rent despite constant reminders. That is why we decided to evict him,” swore Kirianki. 

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